Skagit County's jail has long been outdated and overcrowded, but funding a new one was the challenge officials have struggled with for years. Discussions began in earnest in summer 2012. Once officials decided on a plan, they went to voters for approval. Approval was given on Aug. 6, 2013. But the work is far from over.
It was no small feat for city and county officials to work out a way to fund and plan a new county jail.
MOUNT VERNON — The City Council will accept comment from anyone at the public hearing Tuesday to consider redesignating two properties from commercial to public use to allow for the new Skagit County Jail.
MOUNT VERNON — Every day, law enforcement officers in Skagit County have to be picky about who they try to book into the crowded Skagit County Jail. This week, they were told the jail has reached a “crisis stage” of capacity.
MOUNT VERNON — The City Council will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, to consider two proposals to rezone properties from commercial to public use to allow for the new county jail.
MOUNT VERNON — Of the two proposed sites for the new county jail, the planning commission voted 3-1 to recommend only the Truck City site be rezoned for public use to allow construction of a jail.
We offered these words of advice in August while congratulating public officials for working together and convincing voters to approve a tax to pay for a new jail: “Spend our money wisely.”
MOUNT VERNON — The final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed new Skagit County Jail is a slightly modified version of the draft statement, primarily offering responses to public comment.
MOUNT VERNON — A new county jail in downtown Mount Vernon may compromise the gateway to the city, some say, while others think a jail at Truck City is too far from the courthouse and would cause transportation problems.
MOUNT VERNON — Building a new Skagit County Jail would have some economic impacts on business and potential development for the area, according to a draft environmental impact statement released Wednesday that looks at two potential sites for the facility.
MOUNT VERNON — A small group of people shared their concerns with city officials Tuesday about building a new jail at the downtown entrance.
MOUNT VERNON — The proposed rezoning of land in the city of Mount Vernon to accommodate a potential jail site begins today as city officials kick off the first public meeting.
MOUNT VERNON — Wild whoops of relief resonated throughout the rotunda outside of the Skagit County Elections Department Tuesday night as supporters of a sales tax to build a new jail learned the results of the primary election.
MOUNT VERNON — Skagit County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an agreement on how the county and four area cities will manage the finances for a proposed replacement to the Skagit County Jail.
MOUNT VERNON — Skagit County Sheriff Will Reichardt and others presented information about a tax issue to pay for a new county jail at a public meeting Tuesday night.
ANACORTES — The Anacortes City Council approved the Skagit County jail agreement Monday night, signing off on a plan for how the proposed new jail would be financed by the county and its four largest cities.
MOUNT VERNON — Several sites for a new county jail have been discussed in the past year, but as of about a week ago, Skagit County officials signed purchase and sale agreements with landowners of two sites in Mount Vernon.
SEDRO-WOOLLEY — The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a provisional jail agreement with Skagit County. The city is the fourth and final city in the county to approve the agreement.
MOUNT VERNON — Skagit County commissioners voted unanimously Monday to add a sales tax issue to the August ballot to pay for a new county jail, its operations and city police and fire protection.
BURLINGTON — Amid unease of a revised plan and a desire to ensure that the entire City Council votes on the issue, the Burlington council will wait a week to vote on a provisional agreement that would set the county off on a path to a new jail.
Mount Vernon’s City Council agreed Wednesday to sign onto Skagit County’s proposal to fund a new jail, but some Sedro-Woolley City Council members were less enthusiastic with a plan that asks for money without a clear explanation of what will be built and where.
MOUNT VERNON — Skagit County and local city leaders are closer than ever to agreement on how to pay for a proposed new county jail after the county sent a revised proposal to city leaders Wednesday morning.
Cities without a contract with Skagit County might have to find another jail to house inmates who are being investigated but not yet charged for rape, murder and other violent crimes if they decline to ink a new deal to pay for a proposed new jail.
Dueling proposals this week from three area cities and the Skagit County commissioners show a divide that may be getting wider even as time is running out to form a plan that voters will support to build and run a new jail.
The topic of a new Skagit County jail and the plan to pay for it was discussed separately in three cities Wednesday night, but the path forward remains unclear. The most in-depth discussions occurred in Burlington, which held a public forum attended by the city officials, the county sheriff and more than a dozen members of the public.
Anyone interested in public safety issues in Burlington, including police, fire and jail concerns, is invited to attend a forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Burlington City Hall.
MOUNT VERNON — Mayor Jill Boudreau said Thursday that she was speaking out frustration when she outlined a tentative plan that had the county waiting five years to start building a replacement jail.
MOUNT VERNON — Skagit County should outsource more inmates to alleviate overcrowding at the county jail and wait five years before breaking ground on a new jail, Mayor Jill Boudreau told Mount Vernon City Council members while outlining a plan endorsed by two other mayors.
MOUNT VERNON — County commissioners opened the discussion about how to pay for a new county jail to the public Tuesday night, drawing about 20 local residents and several law enforcement officials.
MOUNT VERNON — City and county officials wrangled Friday over the seemingly unresolvable debate on how to pay for a new jail: sales or property taxes?
MOUNT VERNON — A Skagit County Jail inmate is accused of raping fellow inmates, concealing weapons, planning attacks on jail staff and soliciting others to attack witnesses in his case over a period of months while in jail, investigative records show.
ANACORTES — Skagit County’s jail consultants made yet another trip, this time to Anacortes’ City Council meeting, to explain the complexities behind replacing the county’s aging and overcrowded jail.
MOUNT VERNON — It’s finally been decided: The county will build a new jail to replace the current overcrowded facility if voters agree to increases taxes to pay for it.
MOUNT VERNON — Paying for a new county jail with sales tax revenue won’t be easy — even if voters approve an increase dedicated to public safety — but becomes impossible if cities decide to keep any portion of that money for their own budgets, mayors and other public officials were told Friday.
BURLINGTON — Selling a project that relies entirely on sales tax to the largest tax generator in the county was a tough sell Thursday night.
MOUNT VERNON — Some City Council members said Wednesday that they want to see a ballot measure this fall to use sales taxes to pay for a new Skagit County Jail.
MOUNT VERNON — The group tasked with finding a solution to the county’s overcrowded jail reached an uneasy peace Thursday, as members unanimously agreed to eliminate an option that would renovate and expand the current jail to accommodate a growing inmate population.
MOUNT VERNON — Skagit County Jail Coordinating Council members heard details about the logistics of sending jail inmates to Yakima County’s jail this morning.
MOUNT VERNON — The Skagit County Jail Coordinating Council is considering both a sales and property tax to fund an expansion or replacement of Skagit County’s overcrowded jail.
MOUNT VERNON — An effort to expand jail space for county inmates could involve both a property tax and a sales tax.
MOUNT VERNON — The Jail Coordinating Council will meet this morning to discuss how to pay for a renovated or new county jail and the possibility of housing inmates in jails outside Skagit County.
By Lynsi Burton
MOUNT VERNON — Early next year, taxpayers could decide whether to support a new jail in Skagit County. But coming up with a way to pay for a new facility to replace the aging jail in downtown Mount Vernon won’t be easy.
Skagit County Jail inmates line up on a Thursday afternoon before being taken for their Superior Court appearances. Colin Diltz / Skagit Valley Herald